Monday, July 20, 2015

Pixote: the Survival of the Weakest 1981

What is life through the eyes of one abandoned parent-less in the slum quarters dominated by violence  and crime? This Brazilian film is about the boy Pixote, his consignment to the concentration like reformation centre, escape therefrom, and subsequent descent into the world of drugs and pimping. In the final scene,he prances along a railway track, hopeful in the present as he faces futurelessness. In real life, we read, Pixote was killed at the age of 19. The film strikes an objective rather than a sorrowful one--life has its highs and lows, even in what we call the dregs.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Timbuktu 2014

Timbuktu is a town in Mali, a West African country jutting into the desert. The country experienced a brief interregnum of religious extremism in the very recent past. Music and football were banned,  women had to wear gloves and socks. Armed and hooded extremists blared orders as they moved around the streets on motorcycles. The life of a cattle herder and his wife and daughter is caught in the vice of this ludicrous fanatical dispensation, culminating in tragedy. The common people react with disgust and indignation to the ugliness of the period. People are much the same anywhere, and it is easy to identify with these inhabitants of an exotic country. It is fact that nobility, humanity and courage is more often to be found among common folk than those in high places. Not least of the charms is the graceful tempo of the film as it gently takes hold of our senses with its images of men, women, children, animals and the dust blown structures of the fringes of the Sahara desert. A highly informative film.